On June 6th, 2012 author Michael Scott’s had a book signing at Vroman’s Pasadena. It was a special occasion, as he was signing the The Enchantress, the last book in the series that made him famous.
Unfortunately, it was also the day President Obama was in town for a fund-raising event. On top of that, the Devils and the Kings were playing at Staples Center. I expected horrible traffic on the freeway, so I avoided it by taking local streets.
It still took me two hours to get to the bookstore. But it was worth it, as I got to see one of my favorite fantasy authors.
Michael Scott is one of Ireland’s most successful authors. He has written over a hundred books for both kids and adults alike, and is considered as a foremost authority on the Celtic folklore.
At his book signing, Michael spoke of how he had come to write the series he is best known for– The Secrets of the Immortal Nicolas Flamel. With the exception of the main characters Josh and Sophie Newman, all of the human characters in the books are real. Other non-human characters were based on original myths and legends. That being the case, he was assigned a nonfiction editor, to help him check facts.
Michael told us a little bit about himself and his writing journey. The audience got a laugh when he said that his mother actually wanted him to be an accountant, and she still doesn’t think much of him being a writer.
Michael was a bookseller for many years and he came across books that made him say “I can write better than this.” He says that most writers start out as readers.
When asked how one becomes a writer, Michael replied, “I’m not a big fan of writing courses or classes, and I didn’t take any of those myself. If you want to write, you put your bottom on a chair, and you write. You write everyday. Writing is practice.”
An audience member asked Michael to comment on ebooks and the publishing industry. Michael said he’s been in the business long enough to have heard the death of the book several times. As long as there are people reading, then it doesn’t matter. There will always be a place for books. Most people buy the digital copy to read, and a physical copy to have.
Someone asked if he would sign his kindle? “Absolutely,” Michael replied. He mentioned how there are some people who have their kindle cases signed and swap it out when it’s full. He once signed a case in Dallas, and the owner told him to be careful and not to overlap with John Grisham’s signature. “I know my place,” Michael quipped.
Michael answered a lot more questions and told us many more interesting things about publishing, writing and myths. After that, we all lined up to get our books signed.
It was a thrill to talk to Michael. I mentioned that the last time I saw him was at the Long Beach Borders a couple of years back. He remembered the occasion well, and we chatted for a bit about YA books. He gave me a few recommendations and I thanked him for adding two more books to my already growing To Be Read pile.
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